Titans of Canadian Theatre

Recorded at Performance Works on Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hard to believe yet true: not until October 24, 2013, at the Vancouver Writers Fest, had Canada’s pre-eminent playwrights Tomson Highway and Michel Tremblay appeared together onstage. Interviewed by the inestimable Bill Richardson, these illustrious storytellers talk about their careers, how their work has been shaped by their birth country, and how their stories continue to shape Canadian literature. Michel Tremblay’s 27 plays are some of the most important in Canadian theatre history, and his 24 novels have brought him international fame. To date more than 1,750 productions of his work have been mounted around the world. Tomson Highway changed the face of Canadian theatre in the 1980s when he put Métis and Aboriginal characters on stage in The Rez Sisters, followed by Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing. Listen to this generous and intelligent conversation with three of our country’s renaissance men.

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Tomson Highway is Canada’s best-known Aboriginal playwright and is widely recognized for his tremendous contribution to the development of Aboriginal theatre around the world. In 1994, he was the first Aboriginal writer to be inducted into the Order of Canada. His latest theatrical achievement, The (Post) Mistress, is a one-woman musical tour de force, in which he creates not only a rural comedy but also a sublime parody of small-town life.




Michel Tremblay’s dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, and his plays have been adapted and translated into dozens of languages. In April 2006, Tremblay was the recipient of the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix, awarded annually to a writer of international stature and accomplishment in recognition of a lifetime of literary achievement.